‘stay as focused as you can on the music itself’ | Interview with Sour Sync

Ethereal moving between genres, blending electronics with organic elements… this is Wisdom Teeth by Sour Sync. Get to know the talented artist below. He’s the real deal!

Describe your sound in three words please!

Strange, passionate, and unpredictable

You now live in London but you grew up in the mountains of Spain. How do you experience this difference and does it reflect somehow in your music?

Life in Spain is a lot slower paced than London. As a kid in Spain I would spend a lot of time quite secluded in my own head, building camps in the orange orchards and hiking the mountains. I’m certain that’s where the creative door first opened for me. 

Spain also has such a rich culture! When I was about 8, we were told about this festival that happens every year in my hometown where the whole town gathers at the primary school to play flamenco from about 5pm to 5am, all night! I remember experiencing that passion with the dancers, the sound, the accent… what stuck with me most is the energy they channel, and I think even today it helps me to humanise many of the electronic elements in my own music.

It’s only now I can step back and look at how much Spain has influenced me and what I appreciate about it having moved away, although would I be doing what I’m doing today if I had stayed – I’m not too sure!

Wisdom Teeth has in parts a James Blake feeling, with heavily manipulated vocals, many electronic elements etc. How challenging is to perform your music live? 

Haha, I don’t actually know as I’ve only ever fantasised of the idea! What I know for certain is that, much like James Blake’s music, I want the quality to be as high as possible and with real players, and real people. 

I usually perform as a guitarist and so fronting a project would be the first hurdle- what to play and what to do. I think the second hurdle would be all of the synth sounds, the samples and the intricacies. You think you’re hearing a synth but it’s probably a guitar processed in an unconventional manner, like run through a tape machine, then more shit to modulate it at such high speed that it creates an almost distorted sound, for example. And it’s hard to even backtrack how I got that sound to begin with sometimes. I think it’s definitely do-able, I just haven’t figured it all out yet. However, if the opportunity and demand came up to do it then omg, that would be a dream.

How easy is it to make it as an emerging artist nowadays? What would you advise fellow musicians and what would you like to change?

To be completely honest, I have no idea! The advice I would give to anyone is to stay as focused as you can on the music itself. Be real with yourself, work as hard as you can to be as good as you can at what you do, and don’t expect anything in return- chasing commercial success and facing rejection can definitely affect your relationship with your art. It’s tough!

In today’s industry, I personally feel a little like an outcast. I don’t want to say there’s no support for emerging artists because there is, and I think people that support emerging artists are amazing, but I haven’t found many platforms that support what I do yet. For example: define my genre, define James Blake and Bon Iver’s genre… I hate that people have to put themselves into a box, that bothers me, and that generally an image has to be so distinct and refined in order to be perceived as polished and successful. I find that very frustrating, because one day I feel a certain way and another day I feel another… but is that the industry’s fault or mine?  I don’t know. It’s hard to find your way if you’re unusual.

You work and move around in London, which can be thought of as the centre of music, but where would you like to be if it was for another country, in terms of its music culture and scene?

A lot of the music that I make is stolen from so many different genres and cultures that I pick up along the way, so ultimately I’d love to visit as many different music scenes as possible! Saying that, the Australian music scene and it’s artists tend to resonate a lot with me.

I think Berlin could be a really interesting place too! I might be wrong as I’ve never been but I feel like people there have quite a pure mindset towards music creation, and that it has a great scene around electronic music, equipment and experimentation. I’d love to work there. 

How do you feel about collaborations? Is there someone you’d love to work with? 

Collaboration is key! I find I work much better in the room with someone else, and it excites me so much not knowing what they’re going to bring to the table. Someone might hear an idea you might have thrown away on your own, and go ‘Whoa what are you doing, that bit is sick!’… Other people’s perspectives can really rejuvenate my creative process. It’s a different dynamic and helps me break out of habits and take me out of my own head.

I want to collaborate with so many people: like minded producers, artists, musicians. I want to collaborate in so many different ways too, by playing on other peoples stuff, and by producing others… It’s hard to pick one, but my dream collaboration would have to be Bon Iver, Flume and James Blake… Or to just watch them collaborate, just to be in the room, that would be enough for me, my life would be complete. I’d really love to collaborate with Rosalia too, I think she’d be a wicked artist to work with!

Which song (of your own making or other) would you choose to represent the world during the pandemic?

‘PDLIF’ by Bon Iver

What are you looking forward to doing in the near future in terms of music making?

Something that excites me the most about music is sound design and creating things I haven’t necessarily heard before… Outside of music I’m a skateboarder and I want to channel more of my life outside of the studio into my music, so I’m looking into a project where I sample some things related to skateboarding. I’m alway getting inspired on my board at the moment and it would be sick to combine the two. 

I also have a lot of music in the pipeline to be used in one way or another, so perhaps I’ll work towards an EP or album- who knows! I think at this stage I just want to keep growing and keep creating, and as long as I’m being creative then I don’t care what is next! 

Thanks Sour Sync!

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